Author's Note: Sorry about the long time to update this. I have been busy with work. Happy Hannukah to any Jewish readers and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone else.
The next morning at breakfast, the Phoenix Club sat together at one end of the first-year table. There wasn't much conversation, as a number of them weren't morning people. After breakfast, James headed for his first class of the day, which was History of Magic.
Professor Park-Davis greeted the class, took roll call, and then had them turn to chapter one of A Look at Magical History of Africa. The chapter dealt with Egypt, which was where the oldest known records of witches and wizards were from. Many of the priests and priestesses of the various Egyptian gods and goddesses were magical, and wizards had served the pharaohs. This had even been mentioned in the story of Moses in the Bible and Torah, with the advisors that had served the pharaoh duplicating some the feats with magic that Moses and his brother Aaron had done with God's help.
The next class was Potions, with Professor van Herten as the instructor. After roll call, he gave the class a strict talking-to, making it clear that any sort misbehavior was not tolerated in his class, as Potions could be a dangerous subject. One person had been severely burned as a result of a potions mishap, and another time, someone had thought it fun to throw a firecracker in another's person cauldron, resulting in half of the class being covered in a De-Aging Potion. The antidote, an Aging Potion, had been available, so none of the students were stuck as babies or toddlers for very long, but it hadn't been fun at all. After that, Professor van Herten wrote down the instructions for brewing a simple cure for boils on the board and had the class pair up and work on the potion.
He demonstrated how the ingredients were to be prepared, and then spent the rest of class walking around and checking everyone's work. James paired up with Katya and they were able to brew a successful potion. Professor van Herten complimented them on their work when they were done and after getting their permission, bottled up some of it for the school infirmary.
After lunch was Charms class, taught by Professor Mills. She took attendance and then had the class turn to page one of A Standard Book of Spells and demonstrated the first spell in it, a Color-Changing Charm, on a scarf, turning it from red to blue. She then had Marshall and Jóhanna Hinrikdóttir pass out ribbons to everyone in order to practice the spell. Lily was the first one to master the charm, turning her blue ribbon to a rainbow of colors in succession. Professor Mills gave her an approving smile and a Sugar Quill and then had her continue practicing the spell on the scarf.
By the time class ended, only five students hadn't turned their ribbons different colors, though they had managed to get a lighter or darker shade of the original color.
After classes ended, James went out to the Quidditch Pitch with Sirius, Claire, and Fiona. They stopped at the broomshed to borrow some school broomsticks, as first-years were not allowed to have their own at school unless they were on one of the school Quidditch or Quodpot teams. James and Claire, whose Quidditch talents were along the lines of Chasers, passed the practice Quaffle to each other and tried to get past Sirius, who was playing as Keeper, and score goals. Fiona flew around the pitch after the practice Snitch, catching and releasing it five times within an hour.
That evening, at nine o'clock, was Astronomy class, taught by Professor Astrid Larsen, who after introducing herself said jokingly, "I suppose it was destined that I become the Astronomy teacher, as 'Astrid' means 'star' in Scandinavia. That's the countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, for those that don't know." She then had everyone set up their telescopes and pointed out various constellations to them, with the class noting it all down on their star charts.
On Friday, right after breakfast, the seven students that didn't know English, one of them Makena, were called up to the staff table. Headmistress Nakamura, Father Vasquez, and Professor Nightwind (Claire's father), who knew Legilimency and Occlumency, used the former ability to do something that resulted in planting their knowledge of English into the students' minds. They couldn't do this with languages they weren't fluent in, as they hadn't worked out a way to the take the knowledge of a language from some other person's mind and giving it to another person.
Father Vasquez then gave the students a potion to heal them of the resulting headache and they headed off to their respective classes. Makena joined the rest of the Phoenix Club in their first class of the day, which was World Culture. The teachers for the first session were all the religious staff, who took turns giving an overview of their respective religions. When it ended, Rabbi Goldberg said that he would be returning next week to give a more in-depth lecture on Judaism.
After that, the Muggleborn students went to Wizarding Culture, while the ones that grew up in the Wizarding world went to Muggle Culture. The few students that was familiar with both worlds, like Severus and the ones that grew up in Windmere, had a study period.
After lunch were the foreign language classes. After the Phoenix Club had been formed, all the ones that hadn't signed up for Mandarin Chinese had switched to that class, except for Yun, Marshall, and Claire, who were fluent in it. The main reason for that was it was one of the languages very few students took, which would enable them to talk with very little chance of being understood by anyone that happened to overhear. The instructor for the Chinese class was Professor Li-Nightwind, Claire's mother and the sixth and seventh year Astronomy teacher.
"Ni hao," she said after the bell rang, signaling the start of class. "That means 'hello'." She repeated it again and then had the students say it one by one, correcting their pronunciation when needed. After that, she went over some basic phrases in Chinese, such as 'How are you?', 'My name is,' and 'Thank you,' with the students writing down the pronunciations and the translations in their notebooks. Professor Li-Nightwind then moved on to the terms for members of the family, explaining that there were different terms to differentiate between paternal and maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. She finished the class with teaching them the Mandarin for the objects in the classroom and told them to practice what they had learned for homework, preferably with the help of their Chinese-speaking friends.
Dinnertime turned into an impromptu Mandarin lesson, since the non-Chinese speaking members of the Phoenix Club wanted to learn more. Claire pointed to her plate and said, "This is a 'pan zi'. And the cup is a 'bei zi'." She then held up her chopsticks and said, "Kuai zi. The literal translation is 'quick sticks'." Yun continued the lesson by telling them that a fork was a 'cha zi', a spoon was a 'shao zi', and a knife was a 'dao'. The two finished off with the rest of the tableware and basic food or meal-related words, like 'rou' for 'meat', 'fan' for 'food' or 'meal', 'chi' for 'eat', 'shui guo' for 'fruit', and 'cai' for 'vegetable'.
It rained for most of Saturday, so the Phoenix Club spent the day in one of the recreational rooms in the girls' dormitory, since students weren't supposed to have anyone of the opposite gender in their bedrooms without school permission. Of course, some of the older students disregarded the rule and snuck their boyfriends or girlfriends into their rooms, but if a staff member caught them, there would be detentions handed out. Makena told her friends about what her life had been like in South Africa, and they in turn told her some stuff about the Wizarding world. While she wasn't the only Muggleborn person in the group, Lily had Severus to tell her all about the Wizarding world, and Marshall would only be considered a Muggleborn by blood purists since it was his parents that were Muggleborn.
At some point the conversation turned to magical creatures and beings. Remus had to suppress a flinch when the subject of werewolves came up. While most of the Phoenix Club had come from families that had attended Nightwind School and so were raised to not be prejudiced, there were still four that weren't. He had no idea what Lily and Makena would think about him if they knew he was a werewolf, since they were Muggleborn, and Severus and Sirius had no doubt been taught to at least be wary of werewolves. Considering the reputation that the Black family had, Sirius probably was taught to outright hate werewolves, though whether or not it stuck was debatable, since he had also been taught to look down on non-purebloods and blood traitors but hadn't gotten those lessons to stick.
"There are some werewolves that are really bad, like Fenir Greyback in Britain, but most are just good people and safe to be around except during the full moon," said Yun. "It's not their fault that they got bitten and turned, but there are witches and wizards that don't care about that and are prejudiced towards them."
Remus bit his lip and tried to hide how uncomfortable he was feeling. Claire seemed to be the only one that noticed, for she gave him a sharp look, but to his relief, she didn't say anything about it. Katya continued, "Professor Romano, who's the fourth-year History of Magic teacher, is a werewolf. On full moon nights, he's over at the wildlife preserve, since werewolves aren't a danger to animals. Sometimes the teachers that are Animagi will keep him company in their animal forms. An Animagus is someone that can turn into an animal, Makena. All the Transfiguration teachers are Animagi, and so is Headmistress Nakamura and a couple of others."
"So do Animagi have one animal form, or can they have several?" asked Makena.
"Just one, and their animal form usually has some sort of marking that corresponds with their human body," replied Claire. "Professor McGonagall, the fifth-year Transfiguration, has markings around her eyes like her glasses in her cat form, and Professor Chavez's birthmark shows up on the right wing of her eagle form."
To Remus's immense relief, the conversation continued on to special abilities that some witches and wizards had. When the Phoenix Club left for dinner, Claire took Remus to one side and asked in a whisper, "Are you prejudiced against werewolves or something, Remus? Because you seemed awfully uncomfortable when we were telling Makena about them."
"No, I'm not," he assured her hastily. "But the bad ones like Greyback do scare me." Claire accepted this and dropped the subject.
The next day, Marshall, Severus, and Yun noticed how tired and ill-looking Remus was. Knowing that he couldn't just tell his roommates that he was fine when he would have to leave before dinner and join Professor Romano at the wildlife preserve to spend the full moon, he used that as an excuse to stay in the room and rest. Just before dinner, he told his roommates that he was going to the Infirmary and left.
At dinner, the rest of the Phoenix Club noticed that Remus wasn't there and Severus explained, "Remus said he was feeling worse and went to the Infirmary."
"I hope he's going to be all right," said Nicole, looking concerned.
"I'm sure he will be," said Marshall. "Father Vasquez or one of the other medical staff will give him some healing potions for whatever's bothering him."
"And we can visit Remus after dinner and see how he's doing," pointed out Yukiko.
However, when the Phoenix Club went down to the Infirmary after dinner, Reverend van Herten, the Protestant chaplain and Mediwitch on duty, informed them that Remus wasn't there.
"But Remus said that he wasn't feeling well and was going to the infirmary!" protested Yun.
Reverend van Herten stopped looking puzzled and said, "Oh, Remus did come to the infirmary, but he's no longer here. Professor Romano took him to the clinic in Windmere. Don't worry about your friend. He'll soon recover and should be back in class on Tuesday. All right?"
The Phoenix Club left the Infirmary, with several of them now extremely worried, wondering what serious illness Remus had if he had to go down to the clinic. The rest, however, started to suspect something else, and asked that they all go to an empty classroom to talk, since there would be no other students in the classrooms area to overhear them. Once in there, James pointed out the window. "Look at the moon that's just rising. It's a full moon."
"So?" asked Dylan. "What does that have to do with- Oh! Reverend van Herten said that Professor Romano took Remus to the clinic."
Lily frowned. "And Katya said yesterday that Professor Romano was a werewolf, so he would be going to the wildlife preserve tonight."
"That would mean Remus is a werewolf," said Amina. "He hasn't looked well for the past few days, and one of the teachers, I'm guessing Professor Romano, hasn't either. I wish Remus had told us. Did he really think we'd stop being his friend if we knew?"
"He must have," said Claire. "Or at least thought some of us might. Well, that explains why he seemed so uncomfortable when we were telling Makena about werewolves. I thought he might have been prejudiced against them, but when I asked him later, he said he was just scared of the bad ones."
"He must have been bitten by one of the bad ones then," Sirius pointed out. "Probably Fenir Greyback, since he's the main bad werewolf in Britain. I heard that he purposely goes out and bites kids on full moon nights if their parents have opposed him in some way as revenge."
Lily winced. "That's terrible! As for Remus not telling us, he might not have felt ready yet. Not all of us come from families that attended Nightwind School, so he wouldn't know how we'd take the news."
"But the rest of us did!" protested Fiona. "We weren't raised to be prejudiced against werewolves, so he could have told us."
"And just because I didn't attend Nightwind School doesn't mean I'd hate Remus," said Severus. "He's a good friend and roommate and being a werewolf doesn't change that. It's not his fault he happened to be outside on a full moon night and Greyback or some other werewolf attacked and bit him."
"And I do not hate him either," said Makena. "After the prejudice I went through in South Africa, how would it look if I were prejudiced against him?"
Kurt sighed. "Well, when Remus comes back we can let him know that we figured out he's a werewolf and he's still our friend. And that we'll keep his secret from the rest of the school." The others nodded and they decided to go back to their respective rooms.
On Tuesday, Remus, still looking a little tired, returned and was present for the day's classes. When school was over for the day, the Phoenix Club went to the study room that had the least chance of anyone overhearing them. Once inside, Dylan said, "Remus, we've figured out your secret."
Remus turned pale, but before he could try to say something, Marshall continued, "We all went to visit you in the Infirmary, but Reverend van Herten said that you weren't there and that Professor Romano had taken you to Windmere Clinic."
"I pointed out that it was a full moon, and those that hadn't already guessed that you might be a werewolf then realized it," said James. "Not that it mattered to us. I mean, mattered in a bad way. We know it's not your fault that you got bitten, Remus, and don't hate you for it."
By this point, Remus was staring at his lap, his cheeks turning pink. Severus said, "You could have told us. The ones from families that attended Nightwind School weren't raised to be prejudiced against werewolves, and the four besides you that didn't attend aren't prejudiced either. We're not going to like or trust werewolves like Fenir Greyback, but you're in no way like him. You're our friend and we're not going to abandon you."
The others nodded and Sirius asked, "How did you become a werewolf, anyway? I mean, who bit you?"
The blush faded somewhat as Remus raised his head and very quietly said, "Sev, you mentioned Fenir Greyback. Well, my father had done something that made him mad and he bit me in revenge. I didn't think that any magical school would accept me until Professor Romano showed up with the invitation to Nightwind School. Professor Dumbledore showed up two weeks later with an invitation to Hogwarts, since he doesn't have a prejudice against werewolves either, but I told him I was going to Nightwind. He was surprised, but pleased that another school was also liberal-minded, and wished me well."
"I thought it might be Greyback," said Sirius. "Since he's the main bad werewolf in Britain and all. I'm sorry that it happened to you."
Remus shrugged. "It could be worse, I guess. Anyway, thanks for your support, guys. Professor Romano suggested that I tell you guys when we Portkeyed over to the wildlife preserve, saying that my friends wouldn't abandon me, but I wasn't sure if I should."
"Did you really think so little of us, Remus?" demanded Nicole. "Well, I guess we really can't blame you, since a good many people in the Wizarding world are prejudiced against werewolves. If I weren't from a family that attended Nightwind, I might have been one of those people."
After a minute of rather uncomfortable silence due to the emotion in the room, Dylan suggested that they get started on their homework. The others eagerly seized on this idea and they took out their textbooks and notes.